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Alison Snead

Activity 2.3.10 Wastewater Management

As urban centers grew in size, it became apparent that dumping raw sewage into streets, creeks,
rivers, and lakes ultimately threatened the drinking water supply. The concept of wastewater
management was born.
Once water has entered a structure, it is inevitable that the water will be used and the quality
changed usually for the worse. The used water is called wastewater. The constituents
(impurities) within wastewater are dependent upon how the water has been used.
Sanitary wastewater is generally accepted to consist of human waste, household cleaning
solutions, oil and grease from cooking activities, small solid particles from garbage grinders, or soil
from cleaning clothes and floors. Wastewater from commercial establishments may include
metals, strong acids and bases, cleaning solvents, oil and grease, and grit (small plastic, glass,
stone, or metal particles), in addition to sanitary wastewater. Sometimes water is used for cooling
purposes; thermal pollution is created and must be managed correctly.
The selected method of wastewater management depends upon the quantity (i.e., flow rate) and
quality of the wastewater, available treatment technologies, codes and regulations and economics.
A civil (environmental) engineer must decide how to manage the wastewater by considering three
broad categorical options:
Reuse: Wastewater that can be used again without treatment of any kind
Recycling: Wastewater that is treated either on-site or off-site and used again
Discharge/treatment: Wastewater that is simply discharged from the structure for treatment
either on-site or off-site
In this activity you will learn to select an appropriate wastewater management method and
perform fundamental layout calculations.


Engineering notebook
Computer with internet access

Example Residential Plumbing Code

Frost Depth

For the purposes of this activity, you will assume that the primary contaminant in the wastewater is
organic matter and NOT toxic to microorganisms.
1. Apply what you have learned about wastewater management and the Example Residential
Plumbing Codes Requirements to choose a wastewater treatment method for your Affordable
Housing project.

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CEA Unit 2 Lesson 2.3 Activity 2.3.10 Wastewater Management Page 1

Alison Snead
2. Design the lateral connection from the house to the system. Show all work and document your
design. Assume that the invert elevation of the 14 inch sewer main where the sewer lateral will
connect is 763.15 feet.
a. Create a sketch on a separate sheet of paper showing the sewer main, the sewer lateral,
the house foundation, and the lowest floor elevation.
b. Calculate approximate crown elevation of the existing 14 inch sanitary sewer main. Show
this elevation on your sketch.

c. Assume that the sewer lateral must connect to the main on 10 th Street. Determine
horizontal distance from the structure to the existing sewer main. Indicate this dimension on
your sketch.

d. Determine the minimum size allowed for the building sewer (sewer lateral).

e. Determine the maximum sewer lateral pipe invert elevation at the structure foundation and
indicate this elevation on your sketch. Assume that the sewer invert must be at least 2 feet
below the lowest floor requiring sanitary sewer drainage and that the sewer crown must be
below frost depth.

f. Calculate the slope of the proposed sewer lateral from the structure to the sewer main.

g. What is the minimum slope allowed for the wastewater pipe? Does your design meet the

3. Revise the drawings of your affordable home to reflect the location and size of the sewer
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CEA Unit 2 Lesson 2.3 Activity 2.3.10 Wastewater Management Page 2

Alison Snead

1. When would the use of a septic system for wastewater management be appropriate?
A septic system for wastewater management would be appropriate when no municipal system
is available.
2. What course of action should an architect or civil engineer take if the proposed slope of the
sewer lateral is less than 2% ( in. of drop per foot) of pipe?
The architect should correct the slope to at least 2% because that is the minimum allowed
slope for the sewer lateral.
3. Why is it important that the wastewater from a structure(s) is not toxic to microorganisms?
It is important that the wastewater from a structure is not toxic to microorganisms because they
help decompose waste.
4. Why is proper wastewater management critical for the health and welfare of society and the
Proper wastewater management is critical for the health and welfare of society and the
environment because it allows for harmful waste to be safely decomposed.

Project Lead The Way, Inc.

Copyright 2010
CEA Unit 2 Lesson 2.3 Activity 2.3.10 Wastewater Management Page 3